Snell's smaller lines

The tough economic climate has some manufacturers scaling back on their product introductions, but Snell & Wilcox isn't one of them. The company is introducing several features and enhancements to its product line.

Vice President of Marketing John Shike says 2001 was a challenging one from a business standpoint, with broadcasters postponing capital expenditures and making do with what they have. Consolidation is also reshaping the customer base, he says, noting that, as companies move forward with acquisitions, their equipment needs change.

Snell & Wilcox has done some acquiring of its own, picking up PSP Digital and Post Impressions in the past year. The acquisition help broaden its product offering, with PSP Digital bringing smaller production switchers to Snell's lineup. "They allow us to offer switchers in two, four and eight outputs, and the SD version is also available in a 16-channel version," says Shike.

At NAB in April, PSP will introduce the PVS-2HD switcher, a single-mix-effect switcher offering two to eight inputs, one or two keyers, a wipe generator, edit-controller interface, and internal black and matte generators.

New from Snell & Wilcox itself will be the Alchemist Platinum, a version of the Alchemist standards converter. "It has higher-quality processing and an option of a hi-def output so it can actually do motion-compensated upconversion from PAL to HD," says Shike. "It will do a lot for international program exchange, and the HD feature has already been used by the BBC for the Blue Planet

Snell & Wilcox also will introduce an ingest station for the purpose of video playout or archives. "It's a fairly unique solution because it uses our MOLE technology, which allows the user to encode, decode and re-encode with only one generational loss," he says. "It also takes advantage of constant-quality encoding so the user can maintain a level of picture quality as opposed to varying bit rate."

The HD6200 has also been redesigned and is intended for those looking to change video from one HD format to another. "It can be purchased as any combination of upcoverter or downconverter, and we have some new features for post-production, including improved 3:2 handling and timecode handling."

Other new products include the CVR 450 standards converter, the TBS 180 TBC synchronizer line, an HD version of the Prefix pre-processor, and new features to the HD 2525 line of switchers.